Ashley Reservoir shooting: 1 defendant's attorney files motion to suppress some evidence
PITTSFIELD — The defense attorney for one of the men charged in the shooting and assault of Nick Carnevale last summer is seeking to have evidence against his client suppressed before trial.
Daquan Douglas, 25, is among four men accused of participating in the attack that left Carnevale gravely injured. Carnevale, 20, was shot on Aug. 21 while trying to leave a party in the Ashley Reservoir area.
Douglas, Luis Delvalle-Rodriguez, Christopher Frazier and Kevin Nieves are all being charged together under the theory that the assault was a joint venture between the men.
A hearing on motions to suppress evidence in his case filed by Douglas' attorney, Dale Bass, was held Monday before Judge Michael Callan in Berkshire Superior Court.
Most of it focused on whether police had established enough probable cause to seize Douglas' sweatshirt the morning of the shooting and whether he was properly given his Miranda rights before he gave a statement to police following his arrest in September 2018.
The morning of the assault, police were notified that someone, later identified as Douglas, had come into Berkshire Medical Center with an apparent stab wound.
A woman who had accompanied Douglas to the hospital gave police what they described as an implausible account of how Douglas was injured, telling them they were at a basketball court in either Lee or Lenox when they were approached by a group of individuals. Words were allegedly exchanged and Douglas was attacked, according to what police were told.
Police had also established that there was a connection between the woman with Douglas and Nieves, who had been identified as a suspect in the shooting.
According to testimony at Monday's hearing, there were also some reddish-brown stains on Douglas' sweatshirt that had the appearance of blood stains.
The sweatshirt was seized as potential evidence based on several factors, including the timing of Douglas' appearance at the hospital in close proximity to the time of the shooting, the implausible information given to police, the connection between the woman with Douglas and Nieves, and the presumptive blood stains that didn't appear to correspond with Douglas' wound.
Douglas was not identified as a suspect in the assault and shooting at that point, but was arrested on Sept. 4, 2018, as the investigation continued.
At the hearing, Bass established that the state police detective who took Douglas' statement did not personally read Douglas his Miranda rights and was not present when they were reportedly given by another officer.
Judge Michael Callan took the motion under advisement.
Meanwhile, Callan also denied, for the time being, the state's motion to compel Douglas and Frazier to provide DNA samples.
Bass noted that the state appears to not have a viable DNA sample in evidence to compare with samples from the defendants.
Callan left the door open for the DNA requests to be made again, should a DNA sample to test against become available.
According to information aired in court and documents obtained by The Eagle, Carnevale and two friends went to a party apparently organized via a private Facebook group. Nieves allegedly warned the woman who accompanied Carnevale to the party not to bring him and made veiled threats.
At some point, Carnevale and others tried to leave, but his truck got stuck in mud as a group, wielding sticks and other pieces of wood, pulled Carnevale from the truck and attacked him.
Multiple gunshots were fired and Carnevale was struck in the head. Prosecutors have said his survival is miraculous.
Prosecutors believe Delvalle-Rodriguez actually fired the shots that struck Carnevale, but all four men are being charged together under a theory of joint venture.
All four men have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in the case including armed assault with intent to murder.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.
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